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Generation jobless soon to become generation hopeless

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Jobs have always been hard to come by for the young, but they’ve been particularly scarce since the beginning of the recession. In Greece, youth unemployment is nearly 60%. In the Middle East and North Africa, roughly a quarter of job-seekers under 25 are unable to find work. And it’s much harder for a teenager or young adult to find a job in developed economies than in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Unfortunately, no respite appears to be on the horizon. In a report released this morning, the International Labour Organization estimates that worldwide youth unemployment will continue to grow over the next five years, reaching 12.8% in 2018. That means youth who are already without jobs are more likely to stay that way for longer, denying them crucial work skills and hobbling their careers for the rest of their lives.

Is there anything to be hopeful about? Potentially. As the Economist reported, internet services provided by McDonald’s and Mozilla are actually making it possible to train without having a job. If such schemes play out as planned, then at least some young workers will have the skills they need if the job market is ever ready for them.

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